Friday, June 19, 2009

NZ is number one among (some) expats

New Zealand is the best destination in the world for expats—well, for British expats, at least, according to a new survey: “New Zealand came ahead of Canada, Australia, France, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, the US and China in the poll of more than 2,000 Britons living in 12 countries.”

Well, then. Apparently, Britons found that “the combination of low property prices, a favourable taxation system, a healthy lifestyle and the natural environment” made New Zealand the best place to live. Which is kind of ironic since some Kiwis don’t seem to notice those same things.

Seriously, as an expat from a different country, I have to say I fully agree with the results of the survey: New Zealand really is a great country to move to. Being an expat isn’t for everyone, but for those who are set on the idea, New Zealand is a pretty good choice.

However, I want people to make the move for the right reasons. The survey found that among all respondents, “a feeling of dissatisfaction in Britain was the main reason given for moving abroad.” That’s a shame; I think it’s always better to move to something rather than from something.

Still, I’m pleased that New Zealand is so well regarded among expats. It deserves to be.


Nik said...

The # of people I see on NZ immigration forums who give one of their big reasons to COME here that there's "too many immigrants" in the UK crack me up. Pot, kettle, etc....

liminalD said...

Haha Nik, too true ;)

I know quite a few Brits who've moved to NZ, I don't know if it's just the people I know or not, but they all complain bitterly about how hard they find it making friends here, how they hadn't realised they had it so good back in the UK as far as convenience, shopping etc, and they feel that NZ is marketed as this gorgeous green place and feel let down when this proves not to be the case so much.

Personally, I just think they're whinging poms ;)

Arthur Schenck said...

Nik: You're so right. And I also think it's hilarious (in the ironic sense) when I hear someone from the UK, South Africa or wherever complaining about "immigrants" here in New Zealand—as if the moment they arrived here they were suddenly transformed into tangata whenua or something.

liminalD: Haha, yes, the thing is the reason stereotypes persist (any stereotype, actually) is that there's an element of truth in them. I think the reason that some immigrants complain is that they weren't really prepared to be immigrants in the first place, or they didn't really understand what New Zealand is like as a place to live (almost anywhere will seem great when you're there on holiday).

I always say that immigrants should study this place—its history, its culture—and learn how to fit into that rather than trying to import one's homeland, too. Then the immigrant is on much sounder ground to criticise or to reproduce those things from the homeland that are worth duplicating.

Having said all that, it still pisses me off that I can't get tinned pumpkin in NZ so I can make a proper All-American Pumpkin Pie™… ;-)